Contracts, Specifications & Blueprints
By Coulby Dunn
Mountain View Home
The essence of a construction agreement between a buyer wanting to build a home and a builder/contractor consists of the contract, the general specifications and the floor plans/blueprints. These three documents are called the contract papers and cover all aspects of the construction process.
The contract gives the name and address of the customer, the name and address of the building contractor and the address where the new home is to be constructed. Most importantly, the contract has the purchase price and schedule of payments. Normally there is a small deposit upon signing of the contract papers, a payment upon completion of the foundation, a payment upon completion of all framing, a payment upon completion of rough plumbing, rough electric, insulation, sheetrock and installation of kitchen package, and a final payment upon the completion of the entire home. Final payment is made only upon the complete satisfaction of the buyer.
The General Specifications describes all the building materials and work to be performed by the builder. It describes all the excavation work to be completed, the foundation and how it will be constructed, all framing and siding materials in detail, windows and doors, all plumbing, electrical, heating system, interior doors and trim, floor covering, any options such as a fireplace, skylights, whirlpools, decking, etc. Buyers should make certain every item you want included in your home be listed in the specifications. If an item is not listed in the General Specifications it is not included.
The Floor Plans/Blueprints provide a clear understanding of the exact dimensions and layout of the home to be constructed. It gives room sizes, location of all electrical switches and outlets, layout of bathrooms and other detailed information. In addition, the blueprints provide all exterior elevations and cross sections, when necessary. The blueprints will show all exterior dimensions (length and width) so square footage can be determined.
The contract papers are the essence of an agreement between the purchaser and the builder. A clear understanding between both parties will lead to a more dynamic and fruitful relationship for everyone concerned.